After maintaining a working margin from the early moments of the game the Wildcats got sloppy with the ball and their defense and opened the door for Cleveland State at the end of the second half. CSU whittled the Kentucky lead to five with seconds to play in the half. The Wildcats pushed the ball down the floor and Josh Harrellson hit a three with time running down to push Kentucky to a 35-27 advantage at the half.
Cleveland State would draw no closer, as a Kentucky squad playing without Patrick Patterson opened the second half with an 18-4 run to take a 53-31 lead. Then cruised to a 73-49 victory.
Patterson was held out of action after 64 seconds of play in the second half, apparently slightly injuring an ankle. Patterson's nine points and five boards in the first half put him on track for another double-double.
After the game Kentucky coach John Calipari said of Patterson, "If you're limping, you come out. Let somebody else play. All of a sudden, we're up 16, 18. I then just said, if that's what the deal is, we'll just stay where we are, and you rest your ankle."
Kentucky was led in scoring by freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins with 15 point and 14 points respectively.
The Cats won the battle of the board 48-28.
Kentucky will have a short turnaround as they play Sanford at 9:30 PM ET on Wednesday.